Controversy over vehicle that was used to abduct Sakaja aide

Family of Osman Khalif Abdi

Yasmin Osman (centre), wife of Osman Abdi Khalif, briefing the media at Parklands Police Station on November 11, 2023, where she had gone to report her husband's disappearance.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Senior police officer tells court that the police have launched a serious search for the abduction victim.
  • Police also says CCTV footage from the mall only showed Mr Abdi and his wife entering and exiting the area.

A get-away vehicle used by abductors of the personal assistant of Governor Johnson Sakaja is not a police vehicle but a bus registered in the name of Kwazulu Logistics Limited, a senior police officer has disclosed at the High Court.

Mr Peter Njeru, a Commissioner of Police, denied before Justice Enock Chacha Mwita that a double cabin Toyota pick-up KCT 163H is a police vehicle.

Mr Osman Khalif Abdi was accosted by five heavily armed men at the parking bay in Sarit Shopping Mall on November 10,2023.

The armed men, whom Mr Abdi's wife believe are police officers in civilian clothes, bundled him into a waiting Toyota pick-up Silver in colour then drove off at break-neck speed.

“After conducting a search at the National Transport Service Authority (NTSA), it has emerged that the vehicle said to have driven off from Sarit Centre Shopping Mall with Osman Khalif Abdi is a bus but not a police vehicle,” Mr Njeru told Justice Mwita.

Further, the senior police officer, who represented the Inspector General of Police and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), said the police have launched a serious search for Mr Abdi.

The officer told the court that the law enforcement unit is “not sleeping on the job although it is 10 days after the abduction incident.”

Mr Njeru said NTSA gave police the details of the get-away vehicle in their bid to trace its movement since the CCTV cameras at the shopping mall do not cover the parking lot where Mr Abdi is reported to have been abducted.

The court also heard that the CCTV footage from the mall only showed Mr Abdi and his wife Yasmin Osman entering and exiting the shopping area.

In the application presented by Yasmin the judge heard that Mr Abdi was adducted at Sarit Centre on November 10 around 4pm.

"We were leaving Sarit Center when we met six armed people who claimed to have been looking for Osman," Yasmin states.

She further revealed that the six individuals grabbed her husband and took off in a silver vehicle with registration number KCH 163H.

Yasmin also said she tried to resist but she was met with violence from the abductors.

"I proceeded to report the incident of assault and abduction at Parkland Police Station but there has been no response," she said. 

She claimed that the indifference from the police shows that they are aware of her husband’s whereabouts. 

"I am apprehensive that the life of my husband is in grave danger," she said.

DCI officers reportedly visited the residence of the victim to interrogate the wife and get mobile phones to extract call data but she was not home.

Further, the court heard how on the day Mr Abdi was abducted he had left behind his mobile phone and so it has been difficulty to get his call data from Safaricom PLC.

Ms Leyla Ahmed, for Safaricom, said Safaricom has no means of getting CCTV footage for the movement car the abducted Mr Abdi.

Mr Njeru also denied claims that there is a squad within the National Police Service that is used for abductions and kidnappings.

The officer sought two days to file a comprehensive report on Mr Abdi's whereabouts.

Similarly, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Safaricom PLC and the family of the abductee were asked to file evidence about his whereabout.

State Prosecutor, Henry Achochi for the DPP, told the court that he has no information or instructions from the IG regarding the arrest of the Mr Abdi.

Independent Police Oversight Authority's lawyer, Peter Langat, told the court that the agency has only received two reports on the incident.

Justice Mwita ordered Safaricom PLC to provide crucial data about vehicles and call data of the abductee.

The judge directed the case be mentioned on November 27, 2023 for further directions.